FISHERS — Learning will take a new shape this fall for a group of high school freshmen in Fishers.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools and Purdue Polytechnic High School announced Tuesday they are collaborating to form the HSE Polytechnic Program. The four-year, hands-on educational program will be housed at Hub & Spoke Institute in the 8100 block of East 106th Street.
In a video news conference, school and city representatives said the HSE Polytechnic Program will provide students with tools and skills that will help them succeed in the classroom and lead them to high-paying, in-demand jobs.
HSE Polytechnic students will receive a STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education and earn a high school diploma and college credits. The school will also provide programming for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“Our goal is to bring the classroom out into the community and the community into the classroom,” Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said. “We’re breaking those traditional boxes and creating something totally new and totally different.”
The first group of approximately 75 ninth-graders will inaugurate the program in the fall. Each year after, a grade level will be added until about 300 students in grades 9-12 are represented in the program.
Purdue Polytechnic High School will provide curriculum, training and support, while day-to-day operations will be managed and taught by Hamilton Southeastern Schools teachers. Students will have exposure to companies and careers, and will participate in the "EnterMaker" entrepreneurship program that teaches them how to create and operate a business.
Purdue Polytechnic operates schools in Downtown Indianapolis and Broad Ripple, and a third school will open in 2020 in South Bend.
“A huge thank you to Hamilton Southeastern schools for saying, ‘We want to be first,'" Purdue Polytechnic head of school Scott Bess said. “We think this is the first of many and Hamilton Southeastern will be thought of as a pioneer in this.”
While students will take their classes inside the Hub & Spoke Institute, a project- and work-based learning and innovation center, HSE Polytechnic Program director Steve Loser said they will still be able to participate in extracurricular activities, such as athletics, band, choir and other clubs, at Fishers and Hamilton Southeastern High Schools. Transportation will be provided for students.
“We at Hamilton Southeastern Schools are always looking to expand educational opportunities for our students,” Allen Bourff, superintendent of Hamilton Southeastern Schools, said in a news release. “This partnership will provide us access to an instructional model from Purdue Polytechnic High School that dovetails seamlessly with the direction we are moving as a district, one that provides authentic learning experiences and maximizes student agency and collaboration.”